PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Carnegie Mellon art student who dressed up as the pope — naked from the waist down — has started a fire storm of controversy.

CMU is investigating.

And a national Catholic organization is now calling for the student’s immediate suspension and other sanctions.

She dressed up as the pope from the waist up and paraded naked from the waist down — her public hair shaved in the shape of a cross.

Tuesday morning on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Bishop David Zubik continued to express outrage.

“Certainly,” Zubik said, “because even in terms of the symbol of the cross, it is the most sacred symbol for all Christians.”

CMU reiterated its statement that the university is reviewing the incident and will take action if, “our community standards or laws were violated.”

But the National Catholic League called for an immediate suspension of the student, noting that CMU recently suspended fraternity members for taking sexual pictures inside the frat and emailing them to other members.

“If CMU tolerates this incident, invoking no sanctions whatsoever, then it is opening a door it may regret,” the organization said in a statement.

“What if instead of shaved pubic hair in the shape of a cross, a student chooses to depict a swastika?

CMU’s decision not to suspend this female student, who publicly ridiculed Catholics and violated the local ordinance on public nudity, while invoking sanctions against the frat boys for offensive behavior behind closed doors, is legally problematic and morally indefensible.”

  • Listen to Zubik talk to Marty Griffin on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA:

“I’m an atheist, I thought it was funny to be honest,” said student Daniel Kim.

Meanwhile, students KDKA’s Andy Sheehan talked to Tuesday continued to brush off the incident as artistic freedom and fun, despite the shocking nature of the display.

What action the university will take is unclear.

What is clear is that the drumbeat for CMU to do something is getting louder.


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